President Emeritus Whitlock Selected for OVC Hall of Fame

Doug Whitlock file photo

Dr. Doug Whitlock’s love affair with Eastern Kentucky University Athletics has come full circle.

The EKU president emeritus first began following Eastern sports teams and the Ohio Valley Conference as a teen growing up in Richmond. He went on to spend most of his adult life on the Eastern campus – first as a student who earned two degrees and then throughout a distinguished administrative career that spanned parts of six decades, culminating in the EKU presidency 2007-13. To this day, he remains among the Colonels’ most avid supporters, a fixture at campus sporting events, and boasts an encyclopedic knowledge of the teams and countless student-athletes who have donned the maroon and white.

On May 29 in Nashville, Whitlock will join two others as the newest inductees in the OVC Hall of Fame.

“This recognition means a lot to me for several reasons,” Whitlock said. “First, it was completely unexpected. I also know something about how this works, so it makes me feel good the folks at EKU nominated me. And, lastly, it is humbling to know that my colleagues and friends in the other OVC member institutions voted me this high honor. Recognition by one’s peers is especially gratifying.”

The OVC Hall of Fame was organized in 1977 to honor the coaches, administrators, faculty and staff who have been associated with the conference for at least five years and provided extensive and outstanding service. With the induction of this year’s class, the membership has reached 76.

Whitlock remembers listening to O.C. Halyard call Eastern games on the hometown radio station, WEKY, as early as the mid-1950s. Then he began attending games regularly when he enrolled at Eastern in 1961. Essentially, he worked his way through college reporting on athletics, doing sports information work in the office of Donald Feltner and free-lancing for both the Lexington Herald and the Louisville Courier-Journal. He also served as sports editor of The Eastern Progress 1961-63.

After more than six years as director of public information at EKU, he served 1976-97 as Executive Assistant to the President in the administrations of J.C. Powell and Hanly Funderburk. He then became vice president for administrative affairs and eventually came out of retirement to accept the EKU presidency. 

“All through my Eastern career, athletics and the OVC played a central role, Whitlock noted. “Sports information was a part of the Division of Public Information when I headed that unit, and then Presidents J.C. Powell and Hanly Funderburk engaged me with the Athletics Committee and a lot of liaison work with the OVC. That continued through the Bob Kustra and Joanne Glasser administrations right until my first retirement in 2003.

“I am pleased that as student, senior staff member and president, I have known every commissioner of the OVC,” he added, ticking off the names of Art Guepe, Paul Dietzel, Bob Vanatta, Jim Delaney, Dan Beebe, Jon Streinbrecher and the incumbent, Beth DeBauche.

Other 2015 inductees are Jim Skidmore, former Jacksonville State associate athletics director for sports medicine, and former Morehead State men’s golf coach Dr. Rex Chaney. The trio will be inducted at the annual OVC Honors Brunch at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Nashville.

Published on May 06, 2015

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